My life is an aquarium and I am soaking in salt. I like my life. No, I love my life. It’s like a blue hole with honey it. And it doesn’t even matter that I’m almost out of shampoo and deodorant and vegetables and cooking oil.
It also doesn’t matter that something must have been misaligned with the moon causing several people to sour and loose their marbles on me the other day. I felt like I was in some sort of a soap opera, or telenovela rather, which always seem more dramatic due to my inability to understand each word.
None of this matters because the mango trees are ripe and fruit is falling. The mangos are early this year. In Fiji, that means cyclone season is starting sooner. I’m not gonna let that fact jingle my jangle.
The other day I went on a hike through the jungles of Viani with some other sailors. We got lost. Which is perfect, because getting lost is the only way to get found.
When the trail disappeared, we found a lot of barbed wire. We found a house with hot embers burning beneath a kettle, but there were no people. We found ginger flowers, and horses, and we heard a cow that sounded like a human or was it a bird that sounded like a cow impersonating a human? “Stop! Stop! Stop,” the cow that we didn’t see said. We walked through spiked grass that ate our legs. We crossed muddy rivers that sank our bodies. We came across a patch deep in the woods with perfectly machined logs. And we climbed precipitous hills, again and again and again, hand over foot in the blaze of a mid-day sun with a black and white dog following.
I left Viani Bay yesterday. Everyone helped me get unstuck from the mountain of coral my anchor was stuck on. I was caught like a butterfly in a spider web. Wings flapping, but I wasn’t flying nowhere.
A 21 year old guy on SV Utopia was my hero. He free dove, releasing each section of chain, until my anchor was floating. Aboard Utopia is a family, with four kids, and they’ve been sailing around the world together for 14 years.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you that my autopilot stopped working again. It was SV Utopia that fixed it the second time. It’s working now, without gold duct tape.
I’m making my way towards Musket Cove. It’s a long trek. There’s not much wind, so I’m shaking the bugs out of the engine. The crack in the heat exchanger must have been the cause of all my blues. I believe that the crack wasn’t big enough before to release coolant, but it must have been big enough to create the condensation that was causing my instruments to fog up. The instruments kept fogging even after all the work that I did on the engine upon arriving to Fiji.
Then, the other day, that crack must have cracked wide open. Spewing coolant everywhere. Is this possible? I’m no mechanic, it’s just my wild guess.
There is a metal plate that the exchanger sits on, but it doesn’t sit pretty on it. That plate was rubbing right against the nozzle that busted open. I’ve always had rubber wrapped around the exchanger to reduce movement on the plate, but it wasn’t enough. I added more rubber beneath the nozzle itself. Hopefully it won’t happen again.
My journey to Musket involves a lot of reefs. Most people hop their way there, 40 nautical miles at a time, through daylight. I wasn’t going to make the Nasonisoni reef passage before sunset, so I slept in Savusavu last night.
The power went out on shore and as I walked around the marina, everyone kept mistaking me for someone else. Kids, her best friend, other sailors, they all called me by her name.
The misidentification lead me to meeting SV Aqua Brava. They are heading the same way that I am, so we are sailing in tandem. We left Savusavu this morning at sunrise.
I feel better out here with another boat. Reefs make my head twirl and jazz my pulse up. It doesn’t even matter if I’ve sailed through that reef before. I always feel the same pang.
I’m excited to discover a new part of Fiji, but I’m gonna miss Viani Bay. It was there that I realized that I could stare at fish all day and be satisfied. I gotta go back there. I gotta dive the Rainbow Reef a thousand times more. Oh and that White Wall. I’m gonna think about that wall forever. I’m gonna keep a glimpse of it in one eye. That bubbling white Christmas tree that extends all the way to the ceiling of heaven and the basement of hell. Snowflakes falling. Branches fluttering. The tree decorated with rainbow fish ornaments and soft coral tinsel.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Colliding. It’s such a splash!
Anyway, I wish you were here so that we could sip tea and watch the day change. If you were here, by Tuesday, latest, we’d be surfing side by side and catching up on our salty existence since last I saw you!
The voice in my head told me to tell you this one last thing. I don’t know why. Here is the thing the voice said, “Remember, nobody is crushing your dreams but you.” Stay in the razzle dazzle, sunshine.